Breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day, particularly for children ahead of a busy time at school, and skipping it can mean missing out on important vitamins and minerals. After an overnight fast of up to 12 hours or perhaps more for some children, the body needs something to kick start the metabolism.
Angela McComb, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager, PHA explained: “Eating a healthy breakfast is important for kids as it can have a really positive effect both physically and mentally. A healthy breakfast helps to restore energy which needs to be replenished after a night’s sleep.
“People who eat breakfast are more likely to have a better overall diet, with higher daily intakes of fibre, vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron. There is also some evidence that eating breakfast can help to maintain a healthy weight.
“Both kids and adults should aim to eat a breakfast that is high in starchy carbohydrate and low in fat. Many breakfast cereals, toast, bagels, fruit bread, soda and wheaten bread make good choices for breakfast. Adding fruit to cereal, or drinking fruit juice or fruit smoothies, can help us on our way to getting the recommended ‘five a day’.”
Good sources of high fibre, low sugar breakfasts include porridge, Weetabix, Shredded Wheat, or Bran Flakes, or own brand equivalents.
However, some cereals can be high in sugar and/ or salt (or sodium), so it is worthwhile checking out the nutritional information before dishing them up in the morning.
Angela McComb continued: “Cereals which are coated in sugar or chocolate often contain more than two fifths sugar.
“It’s also worth bearing in mind that manufacturers often suggest a 30g serving of these cereals, which will provide two teaspoons’ worth of sugar if you’re eating a sugar- or chocolate- coated cereal.
“However, many people will feel that this serving size doesn’t satisfy their hunger and will wish to eat a larger portion, so it is important to remember that the sugar, salt and calories will increase accordingly.
“In contrast, higher fibre cereals offer a healthier choice, and are both more filling and lower in calories.”
For further information, contact PHA Communications on (028) 9055 3663